Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Film Director Whit Stillman to Show, Discuss Metropolitan, April 28

Chestertown, MD, April 25, 2006 — Acclaimed American filmmaker, Whit Stillman, will show and discuss his film, Metropolitan, Friday, April 28, at 7:30 p.m. at Washington College. The showing will take place in the Casey Academic Center Forum. The event is free and open to the public.

An American independent filmmaker, Whit Stillman established himself in the 1990s as an auteur of distinctively talky and thoughtful comedy-dramas. Though intrigued by film and TV production, he found himself in a training program at Doubleday where he was rotated between various departments before ending up in editorial. Stillman went on to become executive editor of a daily world news summary, while writing freelance fiction and journalism. He entered the film industry in the early 1980s as a foreign sales representative for Spanish films. Stillman often appeared in these features in small comic parts as quirky or obnoxious Americans.

In 1989, Stillman made his first feature, Metropolitan, a low-budgeted yet highly polished portrait of Manhattan's east-side debutante set. Deftly observed and gently satirical, the film was a hit on the festival circuit, earned Stillman a Best Original Screenplay Academy Award nomination, and grossed an impressive $3 million. It also attracted the attention of Hollywood in the form of Castle Rock Pictures. The top brass expressed interest in funding Barcelona (1994) while giving the neophyte filmmaker creative control and final cut. Castle Rock provided $4 million for Barcelona, another droll, dialogue-driven character study. Inspired in part by Stillman's surprise over his Spanish friends' hostile reaction to the 1982 hit An Officer and A Gentleman, the film detailed the personal and political misadventures of a mismatched pair of American cousins in post-Franco Spain.

Whit Stillman's visit is sponsored by Washington College's C. V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience and Rose O'Neill Literary House.

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